A Travel Price Comparison for United States of America South Lake Tahoe vs. Salt Lake City for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit South Lake Tahoe or Salt Lake City?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between South Lake Tahoe or Salt Lake City, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe is the largest town on the famous Lake Tahoe that straddles the California-Nevada border in the Sierra Mountain Range. Located just south of Reno, Nevada and about 2 hours east of Sacramento, the Lake Tahoe area is easily accessible to many visitors.

Lake Tahoe is known for skiing and other winter sports, as well as plenty of warm weather activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, mountain biking, and more.

South Lake Tahoe has plenty of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shopping. This is a good town to base yourself if you're looking to explore the area, as it has a large number of amenities.

Located on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe is the town of Stateline. Here you can find some casinos, as gambling is legal in Nevada.

If you're looking to go skiing or snowboarding, the Heavenly Ski Resort can be found on the southern edge of the town of South Lake Tahoe. Naturally, more ski resorts are located around the lake as well.

As swimming is also popular, several beach areas are on the southern section of the lake including the Regan Memorial City Beach, Lakeside Beach, Pope Beach, Emerald Bay State Park, and the Edgewood Resort area (on the Nevada side).

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is the capital city of Utah and one of the largest cities in the southwest region of the US. Salt Lake sits on the border between the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin regions, making it the perfect place for outdoor activities. The city's natural beauty and resources even became the focal point for the 2002 Winter Olympics. Salt Lake experiences all four seasons, with the most popular times to visit being summer and winter. Summer, June-August, sees little rain and temperatures in the high 80's Fahrenheit. Winter, December-March, has temperatures in the 30's Fahrenheit and gets the perfect amount of snow for winter sports.

Which city is cheaper, Salt Lake City or South Lake Tahoe?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in South Lake Tahoe is $94, while the average daily cost in Salt Lake City is $197. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for South Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in South Lake Tahoe is about $86 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $190 in Salt Lake City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    South Lake Tahoe $43
    Salt Lake City $95
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    South Lake Tahoe $86
    Salt Lake City $190

Food

On average, meal and food prices in South Lake Tahoe cost around $30 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $12.

The average traveler spends about $40 per day in Salt Lake City for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $30
    Salt Lake City $40

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around South Lake Tahoe is $20 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

Salt Lake City's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $36 per person, per day on transportation in Salt Lake City.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $20
    Salt Lake City $36

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Salt Lake City

Also for Salt Lake City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Arrival Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Private Departure Transfer to Salt Lake City Airport SLC: $36
  • Salt Lake City International Airport One Way Transfer: $48
  • Transfer from Salt Lake City Airport to Salt Lake City: $62
  • Departure Private Transfer City to Salt Lake City Airport SLC by Sedan or SUV: $68
  • Arrival Private Transfer Salt Lake City Airport SLC to City by Sedan or SUV: $76
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Arrival Private Transfer: $77
  • Salt Lake City to Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) - Departure Private Transfer: $77
  • Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) to Salt Lake City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $154
  • Private Transfer: Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Park City: $199

Is it cheaper to fly into South Lake Tahoe or Salt Lake City?

Prices for flights to both Salt Lake City and South Lake Tahoe change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Entertainment

South Lake Tahoe's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $45 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Salt Lake City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    South Lake Tahoe $45
    Salt Lake City $22

Tours and Activities in South Lake Tahoe

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for South Lake Tahoe are as follows:

  • 2 Hour Small Group Sailing Cruise Lake Tahoe: $99
  • Emerald Bay Helicopter Tour of Lake Tahoe: $94
  • Full-Day Lake Tahoe Circle Tour including Squaw Valley: $62
  • Lake Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Circle the Lake: $392
  • Lake Tahoe Scenic Driving Tour: $249
  • Lake Tahoe Ultimate Photography Scenic Half-Day Tour in Small-Group: $179
  • Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley: Full-Day Narrated Bus Tour: $60
  • Lake Tahoe: Half-Day Photographic Scenic Tour: $179
  • Happy Hour Cruise: $90
  • Sightseeing Cruise of Emerald Bay: $90
  • Tahoe Helicopter Tour: Lakes and Waterfalls: $265
  • Tahoe's Sand Harbor Helicopter Tour: $265

Tours and Activities in Salt Lake City

For Salt Lake City, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Sale Lake City Haunted Old Town Tour: $20
  • Salty Queen Adventures: Spanish Fork Festival of Lights in Utah: $25
  • Guided Tour of Great Salt Lake from Salt Lake City: $39
  • Salt Lake City Guided Bus Tour: $49
  • Salt Lake City Big City Loop Bike Tour: $120
  • Best of Salt Lake City Sightseeing Tour: $125
  • Salt Lake City Bike and Brew Tour: $138
  • Salt Lake City Sunset Bike and Brothel Tour: $139
  • Best of Salt Lake City Including Great Salt Lake Sightseeing Tour: $192
  • Cottonwood Canyons Backcountry Ski Tour: $200
  • Private Sightseeing Tour of Salt Lake City: $260
  • Wasatch Backcountry Skiing with Lift Ticket: $275

Alcohol

The average person spends about $28 on alcoholic beverages in South Lake Tahoe per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Typically, people visiting Salt Lake City spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    South Lake Tahoe $28
    Salt Lake City $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Salt Lake City

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Salt Lake City:

  • Salt Lake City Bar Hunt: Salt Lake City Bar Crawl: $12


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between South Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City, we can see that Salt Lake City is more expensive. And not only is South Lake Tahoe much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to South Lake Tahoe would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in South Lake Tahoe and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Salt Lake City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Salt Lake City than you might in South Lake Tahoe.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
South Lake Tahoe vs. Salt Lake City Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.